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 National Guard Logistics Chief Manzhura arrested for bribe-taking released due to change of charges

Chief of the logistics service of the National Guard of Ukraine Sviatoslav Manzhura, who was charged of taking bribe in the amount of 232,000 hryvnia (over $10,000) from a businessman for assistance in winning a contract for the supply of canned meat, has been released from custody.

Censor.NET reports citing Nashі Hroshі.

The statement reads: "This is evidenced by the verdict of Solomianskyi district court in Kyiv of Oct. 2. The Colonel was sentenced to five years in prison with a three-year probation period. Besides, Manzhura has not been ousted from office and was returned two pistols, two pads, cell phone, car, and cash in the amount of $2,000 that were seized from him during search. The Colonel must reimburse only the expenditures for forensic examinations worth of 2,500 hryvnia (about $120).

Read more: National Guard officers detained selling military property involved in drug trafficking, - Chief Military Prosecutor

The Colonel was arrested in January 2015 directly during receipt of bribe in the amount of 232,000 hryvnia (about $10,000) from representative of Vizit Ltd. Ruslan Bereziuk, which took place on the parking next to the Main Directorate of the National Guard. These funds were part of the agreed kickback in the amount of 533,000 hryvnia (about $24,000) - 10 percent of the contract value, for selection of Vizit Ltd. the supplier of canned food.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko even commented on the arrest on Facebook. He praised the fact that Ukraine has changed and detention of Manzhura was evidence of these changes. "I promise that it will be the fate of everyone, who seeks enrichment at the expense of the state, everyone, who has decided to earn at the expense of the military today, everyone, who is ready to sell esprit de corps for thirty pieces of silver!" Poroshenko said.

Read more: 28th Mechanized Brigade battalion commander detained for bribe of UAH 1.1 million, - Military Prosecutor Matios

The Military Prosecutor's Office, headed by Deputy Prosecutor General Anatolii Matios, reported that the charges under Part 2 of the Article 15 and Part 4 of the Article 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine were taken to the court in April. That is, the charge of taking bribe by an official, which envisage imprisonment from three to eight years with the restriction to occupy state positions over three years and confiscation of property, was filed.

However, the charge was subsequently changed to a one with milder penalty under Part 3of the Article 190 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which provides penalty for fraud. That means that after the arrest of the Chief of the logistics service of the National Guard for receipt of the kickback, the investigation concluded that Manzhura was not able to influence the National Guard procurement procedure. Thus he has misled the entrepreneur and therefore he was punished for fraud and not for taking a bribe.

Read more: Diamonds seized from prosecutor-grafter Korniiets worth over half a million hryvnia, - expert assessment

At the same time, representative of Vizit Ltd. Ruslan Bereziuk was also earlier convicted within the same case for bribing Manzhura. However, his company continued winning military contracts.

It should be reminded that President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko spoke against the strengthening of the criminal liability for bribe-taking up to 20 years imprisonment last week. According to him, the "inevitability" of the punishment is more important than its severity.

 
 
 
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